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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

OENG5200M Managing Major Engineering Projects

15 creditsClass Size: 150

Module manager: Dr Tristano Sainati

Taught: 1 May to 30 Jun (2mth)(adv yr), 1 May to 30 June View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students will have met the entry criteria for the Online MSc in Engineering

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Major Engineering projects are temporary endeavours (i.e. projects) characterized by: large investment commitment, vast complexity (especially in organisational terms), high strategic importance to their stakeholders and long-lasting impact on the economy, the environment, and society. Major Engineering projects are most often related to the sectors of Energy, Transport, Water, Health, Military, Education, etc. More generally, major projects range across many sectors, with a high expectation on the outcomes they will deliver. They are often (but not always) associated with budget escalation and delay and questionable cost/benefit analysis. The interfaces are often complex, meaning that project managers need to be aware of the key priorities, issues and where they can draw on recognised best practice. Public bodies and major companies are often involved (e.g. as sponsor or contractor) in major Engineering projects and, therefore, it is fundamental that that their personnel is aware of key peculiarities, issues and best practices in the field.


This module introduces students to the key characteristics of managing major Engineering projects. Students will learn to understand the context and stakeholders in which major Engineering projects are initiated and delivered. They will understand the key risks and their implication on financing and contracting.
The module will expose students to a range of best practices for planning and delivering major Engineering projects and give them an understanding of the life cycle of major projects in the Engineering sector. The module includes case studies of both successful and unsuccessful major Engineering projects in order to help students relate the theory to practice in exemplar projects.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:
1. Understand the contexts in which major Engineering projects are planned and delivered;
2. Demonstrate and apply knowledge of a range of issues that are currently facing the Engineering project manager(s) in planning and delivering major projects;
3. Show awareness of a range of realistic situations that a successful Engineering project manager would have to manage and control in typical industrial environments;
4. Show an awareness of best practice for planning and delivering major engineering projects.

Skills outcomes
Strategic planning for major Engineering projects.

People management: including communications, team building and motivating others.
Commercial acumen: based on an awareness of the key drivers for business success, causes of failure and the importance of providing customer satisfaction and building customer loyalty.

Innovation, creativity and enterprise: the ability to generate, develop and communicate ideas, gain support, and deliver successful outcomes.

Numeracy: the use of quantitative skills to manipulate data, evaluate, estimate and model business problems, functions and phenomena.


1. General introduction to Engineering project management and key differences with ‘business as usual;’
2. Definitions of project, programme and portfolio;
3. Methods to optimise efficiency and value in Engineering projects;
4. Introduction to major Engineering projects (and programmes) and their performance;
5. Scope definition, including requirements translation & target operating model;
6. Stakeholders and stakeholder relationships in major Engineering projects
7. Techniques to build a robust and realistic business case;
8. Project management success (iron triangle) vs Project success (cost/benefit analysis for the different stakeholders);
9. Strategic risk management in major Engineering projects;
10. Time value of money and economic indicators for major Engineering projects;
11. Financing and contractual arrangements for Engineering managers;
12. Project governance and project leadership;
13. Improving infrastructure delivery: project initiation routemap.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning71.007.00
Discussion forum61.006.00
Independent online learning hours28.00
Private study hours109.00
Total Contact hours13.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Private study will include directed reading and self-directed research in support of learning activities and discussions, as well as in preparation for assessments.

Independent online learning involves non-facilitated directed learning. Students will work through bespoke interactive learning resources and reflective activities in the VLE.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Online learning materials will provide regular opportunity for students to check their understanding (for example through formative MCQs with automated feedback). Regular group activity embedded into learning will allow self and peer assessment providing opportunities for formative feedback from peers and tutors.
Online Webinar will also include opportunities for formative feedback, where students can present their ideas for the essay and receive feedback on this.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 word essay90.00
Reflective log500 word summary Weekly progress log10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit: 100% individual assignment

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 12/04/2022


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